(Silver Spring, MD — October 1, 2015) – East Coast residents raided local grocery and hardware stores for bread, milk, toilet paper, and batteries as Hurricane Joaquin threatened to hit the area sometime this weekend.
Joaquin quickly intensified from a tropical storm to a hurricane; its winds were clocked at 40mph Tuesday morning but were up to 80mph 24 hours later. The Category 3 storm pounded the Bahamas this morning with 120mph winds.
With predictions still iffy (the storm is still more than 48 hours away from potential landfall), Hurricane Joaquin could hit over the weekend anywhere from the Carolinas to Delaware.
Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are monitoring the situation closely.
“In addition to watching the storm’s track, we’re keeping an eye on The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang (CWG),” said a NOAA spokesman, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They’re infamous for coming up with cutesy names for storms. They’ve given us ‘Snowmageddon’ and ‘Snowpy New Year’ – 2014 and 2015! – in the past five years. And don’t forget about the ‘Snowquester’ – which turned out to be a rain event, so it was really the ‘Rainquester’ instead.
“If they try to use the name ‘Joaquinquester’ this time around, we’re not going to be happy.”
While the East Coast may not dodge the Hurricane Joaquin bullet, they did dodge another one in that NOAA will not have to shut down. Congress passed and President Obama (D-IL/Kenya) signed a Continuing Resolution (CR) at the 11th hour to fund the Federal government though December 11. Had the measure not been passed, the Federal government would have shut down yesterday at 11:59pm.
“We’re happy that we’ve gotten this behind us,” said a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), speaking on condition of anonymity. “We reached across the aisle to the other side and got the measure passed. And since this measure expires on December 11, we can hold a gun to the heads of non-essential Federal government employees – as well as the rest of the country – for the next 10 weeks.”
Given the recent turmoil in the House – Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) resigned just days ago – it was not entirely clear that the measure would pass. In fact, 150 Republicans voted against the CR. But, with help from House Democrats, the measure passed 277-151. The Senate vote was 78-22.
“Now that the CR has been passed, we can get on to the real business that average, ordinary, everyday Americans care about,” said a spokesman for Speaker Boehner, speaking on condition of anonymity.
FLATLINEgov has learned that Congress’ agenda over the next few days will include:
- Congressional investigations into Joaquin’s personal E-mail server
- Congressional attempts to repeal and replace Joaquin
- Congressional attempts to defund Joaquin
- Congressional threats to shut down Joaquin